On Saturday 20th December 1919 P & A Campbell’s Britannia left Troon bound for Bristol.
The previous day she had left the shipyard of Harland and Wolff where she had undergone a major rebuild to convert her back for use as Bristol Channel excursion steamer once again having spent the period from 28th January 1915 to 13th April 1919 on charter to the Government for war service as a minesweeper mostly in Scottish Waters including at Scapa Flow under the name HMS Britain.
Under the command of Captain Denman Britannia sailed down the Clyde to the Holy Loch and made a call at the pier at Kilmun, where the P & A Campbell story had started back in the 19th century before they moved operations to the South Coast and Bristol Channel and where joint Managing Director of the company Captain Alec Campbell still had a home. He wanted to see his newly refurbished ship before she sailed south. After the inspection she left for Gourock where she stayed the night.
On the Saturday morning she set off for compass correcting after which she dropped off the compass adjustor at the little pier at Kirn. Then she was off again now for speed trials on the Skelmorlie measured mile. That was completed successfully by just after lunch so Britannia turned southwards for Troon to take on coal.
She left there at 6.20 pm, passed Ailsa Craig at 7.50pm, was off Corsewall Point near the entrance to Loch Ryan at 9pm and then set a course southwards towards the Irish Sea and the Isle of Man.
To be continued.
This article was first published on 20th December 2020.